How Did These Thieves Steal More Than $200,000 Worth Of Wine?

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Barolo wines were stolen in two separate incidents over the course of about three weeks. Although investigators have yet to reach an official conclusion regarding the thieves, evidence suggests that the same robbers were involved in both incidents, according to Wine Spectator.

On July 13, individuals wearing laboratory-style cleanroom disguises burglarized the Armando Parusso winery in Monforte d’Alba, Italy, taking about 120 cases worth approximately $112,000.

"They took about three hours and they did their work very calmly," Marco Parusso, co-owner of Armando Parusso winery, told Wine Spectator.

The cellars of the Parusso winery are located underneath the family’s home.

“Our winery is built into the hillside, so it's very hard to see or hear anything below," said Parusso, whose mother slept through the incident.

According to outdoor surveillance cameras, the three thieves used the winery’s own truck to transport the wine, as the vehicle’s keys were kept inside an office.

"The truck had no gas in it, so they took the gas from a tractor," said Parusso.

Police have yet to identify the suspects or locate the missing truck.

"They took some of our best wines," he lamented.

A few weeks earlier, on June 25, 250 cases worth over $100,000 were stolen during a similar incident at the Cordero di Montezemolo winery in La Morra. Surveillance cameras recorded six men entering the facilities through a high window that was not linked to the winery’s security system.

Investigators believe both robberies are related.

"We live in the country," said Parusso. “We never have this. It's quiet here."

However, unlike some of Parusso’s wines, which are rare enough to lead to their recovery, Alberto Cordero di Montezmolo’s stolen inventory would be more difficult to locate.

After a December 2015 robbery of the Seralunga d'Alba producer in Fontanafredda, owned by Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, a nighttime security guard was hired. During the burglary, over 170 cases of Barolo and Barbera wines were stolen.

"Barolos are easy to resell," Farinetti explained. "They don't do this in areas where wines cost little."